Inventions permanently changed society. Enabled by technology advances, the Fourth Industrial revolution is a change in a way we live, work and related with each other.
Why the fourth one?
- First Industrial Revolution, 18th century
Agricultural societies became more industrialized and urban. It started when we found out a new form of energy: steam. Steam power allowed the rise of mechanized industries and evolving stages of metallurgy.
- Second Industrial Revolution, 19th century
The Second Industrial Revolution was about electricity, petroleum and steel. In this era, the world witnessed innovations in communication (telegraph, telephone), transport (aviation, affordable car) and manufacturing.
- Third Industrial Revolution, 20th century
The new type of energy of this era is the nuclear energy. New technological advancements initiated the emergence of electronics, computers and biotechnology. This revolution gave rise to automation and robots.
- Fourth Industrial Revolution, 21st century
The Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 started at the dawn of the third millennium not with the emergence of a new type of energy but the Internet. We are witnessing the age of digitalization.
Industry 4.0 wants to connect all production means to enable their interaction in real time thanks to technology such as cloud, big data analytics and the internet of things (IoT). Other megatrends can also be identified as drivers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: 3D printing, advanced robotics, new materials, blockchain, platform business (such as Uber, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix), synthetic biology and artificial intelligence (AI).
This revolution is forcing us to rethink
- how countries should develop
- how organizations create value,
- and even what it means to be human.
Governments are reshaping their countries into “Smart Nations” through their digital agenda. New systems of education, healthcare or transportation (autonomous vehicles) are a few examples.
We are witnessing profound shifts across all industries. Organizations must change their business models to survive disruption and reshape their production, consumption, transportation or delivery systems.
Organizations must change their business models to survive disruption.
Technology enables us to do things in easier, faster and more efficient ways. Biotechnology and AI, by pushing the current thresholds of lifespan and capabilities in ways previously seen as science fiction, are redefining what it means to be human. The impact of AI will be progressive and found everywhere in human activity and professional tasks.
Do you think AI will replace humans?
 The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum, 2016
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